A Frolic of My Own


Jazz, Books, Macs, Food, and Life Outside the Academy

Blogging from Cleveland Park, DC




iJunkman at hotmail dot com


Pages Written
in 2004 = 3

May 30, 2003
 
The next-to-last day of May and summer just arrived. Welcome.


 
I had lunch with a friend of a friend who works for the family foundation of the Advisory Board Company's founder, David G. Bradley. I learned a lot about foundations, got an inside view of the Watergate, and heard about the future of the Atlantic Monthly, which Bradley owns.



May 29, 2003
 
Weekend to-do list:
1. Buy produce at the Eastern Market.
2. See Venus Theater's production of "The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women."
3. Weather permitting, explore Rock Creek Park.


May 28, 2003
 
Housekeeping note: I've added what I hope is a spam-proof email.


 
So my dad called last night to tell me that ABC had a report on how bad the job market is, and they interviewed students from the University of Virginia about their lousy employment prospects, and isn't it interesting that they chose to show students from the school where I just finished my graduate work. Yeah dad, that is real interesting. Thanks.

Housekeeping note: I've added stats on my job search. As you can see, I'm just getting started.


 
Last night, I tagged along to the bowling night hosted by Andrea's firm at Strike Bethesda. Strike Bethesda is one of those super-plush, retro-lanes. I had a good time, but in the end it was still just bowling and beer. The fancy decor certainly didn't make me bowl a higher score. Of course, following that logic you could argue that any bar is just booze and a place to drink it, so one is as good as the rest.

The retro moment has passed, though, hasn't it? What with the current craze for Pabst Blue Ribbon [unofficial] and (according to Gawker) trucker hats, the kids are probably flocking to gritter lanes that have always been out along the highways.

My favorite bowling alley is a tiny second floor place in St. Louis. Only about three lanes against the back wall, if I remember correctly. I can only imagine what it must be like for the tenant who leases the first-floor space below the lanes.


May 27, 2003
 
I'm happy to report that Frolic has been added to the DC Metro Blog Map.


 
I had lunch with a curator at the National Gallery today, which meant that I got a glimpse of the amazing offices I.M. Pei designed for the museum staff. The offices border a multi-story atrium that looks down on the library. For those lucky enough to get a window office, an entire wall of their office is floor to ceiling glass that looks out directly on the capitol. The cafeteria has tables in Pei's preferred pyramid shape, although these private tables have to be reserved. Those without reservations share a long center table, which means that all levels of the staff and visiting scholars mix over lunch. And lunch, I must say, was quite good. A rotating buffet prepared by a New Orleans trained chef, a daily cheese-plate, and even a dessert tray. Unfortunately, it was a dreary day, so we weren't able to sit outside on the terrace.


May 24, 2003
 
Someone entered the following query into Google:
"there was no dial tone" voice messages connection.

Believe it or not, my recent complaint about Verizon was the first page Google returned. Well, I probably didn't answer your question. Whoever you are though, I hope you stop by again.


May 23, 2003
 
For those who earlier tried to read Frolic and were frustrated (all three of you), it seems that BlogSpot was down most of the day. Have a good weekend. Andrea and I are off to New York.


 
With this shot of the Dupont Metro, Jonathan Prince demonstrates what an overpriced Russian camera can create. At the so-called Lomographic Society thousands of similar photos from around the world are archived. I admit that the Lomo looks like fun, but $160 seems like a lot to pay for a rebranded Russian spy camera. Perhaps the real Russian model can be found cheap on eBay.



 
For the first time in years, my in-box is empty enough that I can read all the message titles without scrolling.


May 22, 2003
 
Looking for alumni connections in the DC area, I searched through the Washington University alumni database this afternoon. A pull-down menu of possible careers that graduates could be pursuing listed both "Embalmer" and "Duplicating Machine Operator." I didn't check to see if any DC area alumni were employed in these fields. Even more disturbing was the fact that "Eating Disorders" and "Mental Retardation" were included. Are these careers?

I also signed onto The Square, despite my better judgment. In case you're not familiar with the site, it's a networking tool for people who attended 25 "elite" colleges and universities. You have to verify your alumni status before you can join. Of course, Washington University in St. Louis didn't make the cut, but I squeaked by due to my graduate work at the University of Virginia. It's a little distasteful, but it does have job listings.


May 21, 2003
 
Nathaniel Burkins has posted 50 b&w photos, taken between 1975 and 1984, of the Maxwell Street Market in Chicago.



May 20, 2003
 
n writers and artist who exercise control over their productions. experimentation. I suppose chance always plays some role in art, but I'm much more interested grew out of this. These days, though, I don't have much patience for this type of Probably my youthful enthusiasm for the French New Novel, which often flirted with these technique, traced back to the Surrealists' Exquisite Corpses, really captured me in high school and college. was used to write Naked Lunch. These forms of automatic art, which I suppose can be web versions of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies and William S. Burroughs' Cut Up Machine, which Not so long ago, Gawker went on a nostalgia trip and posted links to

[Note: The previous post sent through the Cut-up Machine. See below]


 
Not so long ago, Gawker went on a nostalgia trip and posted links to web versions of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies and William S. Burroughs' Cut Up Machine, which was used to write Naked Lunch.

These forms of automatic art, which I suppose can be traced back to the Surrealists' Exquisite Corpses, really captured me in high school and college. Probably my youthful enthusiasm for the French New Novel, which often flirted with these technique, grew out of this.

These days, though, I don't have much patience for this type of experimentation. I suppose chance always plays some role in art, but I'm much more interested in writers and artist who exercise control over their productions.




 
Yesterday morning I had some time to explore the city and biked down to Dupont Circle. Melody Records has the best in jazz and world music. A nice bonus was that the staff seemed to only to speak to each other in French. Kramer Books and Afterwords looks like a good local for, well, books. I also stopped in at News Express, which has a good selection of foreign papers and journals, and picked up copies of the Oxford American and The Believer, two magazines that I been wanting to check out based on their recent buzz but haven't had the time due to the dissertation.

I remember first seeing the Oxford American in the news shop at the Austin airport last year. It seemed impressive that an airport would have such highbrow fare and only encouraged my firmly held belief that Austin is the coolest city in America. Normally the selection of reading at airports is just depressing. Once I asked for the Atlantic Monthly at the Detroit airport and was told that "I've worked here five years, and I've never heard of the Atlantic Monthly."

I haven't had a chance to look at The Believer, but I'm still a little put off by the carnival barker tone that seems to infect everything Dave Eggers touches.


May 19, 2003
 
I've been quite remiss in my blogging recently, but now that I'm settled in my output should improve.

We finally moved in last week and are now official residents of DC. Yes, by settling in the nation's capital I've lost the right to vote for any national representatives.

Andrea started work last Monday and I started a one-week internship at Capital Development Strategies, which provides consulting to non-profits. We spent most of the week putting together a fundraising event for Capital City Public Charter School, a charter school in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. The mayor's chief of staff and two city councilmembers made the event. It was an interesting week, and I'm more interested in development.

On Saturday I turned 30, but the celebrations were low key. A trip to Ikea. A stroll through the mall in an unsuccessful attempt to find me a watch. And an amazing meal at Cafe Atlantico, an incredibly pan-Latin restaurant (The web site is crappy; why do restaurants always have bad web sites).

More later...


May 15, 2003
 
Let me just say, Verizon sucks. We thought we had it all figured out. We ordered our phone earlier. We signed up for a cheap Juno email account. What we didn't anticipate, however, was that we would have voice mail messages when we arrived. The beeping dial tone, which signaled a message, also made out computer think there was no dial tone. Verizon, of course, hadn't mailed us the information on the phone, so we had no one to access the voice messages.

We finally have it worked out. The new problem is that I can't actually send email using the cheap Juno account. Perhaps its time to get DSL.

I'll have more to say soon.


May 08, 2003
 
Most of our house is in boxes, and the rest is piled in heaps on the floor. I'll be packing today, up to DC tomorrow to get the key, and more packing and moving over the weekend. I'll probably be taking the computer apart this afternoon, so you won't hear from until after the weekend.


May 07, 2003
 
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, a thoughtful account on the value of globalization that cuts through the rhetoric on both sides of the debate. It's a long article, but well worth it. I would like to offer some comment, but I don't have time this week.


 
St. Isidore of Seville is on the verge of being named the patron saint of the internet, although he's facing some competition from the archangel Gabriel. The best part is that the Vatican has been debating this issue for three year.


May 05, 2003
 
It's done. I just finished the last page of the dissertation, and now I'm saving a copy on every server I have access to. Sure, I'll have to do a few more corrections tomorrow on what I wrote tonight, and my advisor will have some changes, but it's pretty much over. Six years in graduate school and I just pulled off the final piece. Hot damn, I feel good. I'm going to go out and have myself a drink.


 
Ron and Jeroen have been building up a collection of companion images of objects and places from New York and Amsterdam at NYCASD:



Seeing the Amsterdam images makes me nostalgic for Europe, although perhaps not for Amsterdam. It's a nice town, but a little sleepy despite its reputation. Sure, in the afternoon you can get high legally, but come midnight and everyone is tucked in their beds. When I spent a week there, I had been living in Spain for most of the year. Maybe Amsterdam just seemed quiet by comparison.


 
The dissertation is within five pages of being done. I set myself a deadline for this afternoon, since I need to start packing for the move to Washington. If I don't finish, then I'll just have to put it away until after the move. And yes, if that happens I will feel like a complete loser.

In addition to trying to wrap up a two year project today, I've got a mock interview scheduled at Career services. I'm trying in my last days in Charlottesville to take advantage of every resource the university offers. My last days in Charlottesville....it's just starting to sink in that after Saturday I won't live here anymore. I suppose that once I leave I'll be as nostalgic as every other alum.


May 03, 2003
 
The problem with not sleeping is deciding what to do all night. You could sit in bed and stare at the clock, but then you think of everything you need to do. You could go to the computer and work, but you know that anything that requires attention shouldn't be done at four in the morning. Household tasks--cleaning, packing, taking out the trash--would be good, but your wife will wake up if you turn on the light or make noise.

Last night I read news articles and posted a photo of France on the blog.


 
Joshua Marshall at Talking Points Memo just turned in his dissertation. I think it's in Colonial American History. Congratulations to Joshua.


 
While packing up my office, I ran across some photos of when I lived in France six years ago. Here is the view of the Right Bank from the Mus´┐Że d'Orsay:

Perhaps I'll post some more pictures if I have time before I box up the scanner.


May 01, 2003
 
Still burning the candle at both ends by trying to pull off a dissertation and a job search simultaneously. So far, the dissertation has reached the 206 page mark. I've got about another 10 pages to write, along with revisions. The job search marches forward as well. Last week, I spoke to three Vice Presidents of various levels at universities in Washington. Another call today with someone in development at a non-profit. Next week I have an associate dean lined up for lunch.

I hope by Saturday I can report that my dissertation is in the hands of my director. Then I can focus on packing for the move to Washington.




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